Social networking sites offer people new and varied ways to communicate via the internet, whether through their PC or their mobile phone. Examples include MySpace, Facebook and Bebo. They allow people to easily and simply create their own online page or profile and to construct and display an online network of contacts, often called ‘friends’. Users of these sites can communicate via their profile both with their ‘friends’ and with people outside their list of contacts.
The rapid growth of social networking sites in recent years indicates that they are now a mainstream communications technology for many people.
Ofcom research shows that just over one fifth (22%) of adult internet users aged 16+ and almost half (49%) of children aged 8-17 who use the internet have set up their own profile on a social networking site. For adults, the likelihood of setting up a profile is highest among 16-24 year olds (54%) and decreases with age.
Social Networking (PDF, 269.7 KB)
Full print version
Annex 3: Social Networking Qualitative research (PDF, 172.5 KB)